Fall River Leadership Group, New Bedford Chamber of Commerce

FALL RIVER – If you’re a “strong program manager” looking for a job, you can call the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce.

This is the job description used by the 1,600-member chamber of commerce for someone who can take the helm of the non-profit organization called Leadership SouthCoast.

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A SouthCoast Chamber recently assumed responsibility for Leadership SouthCoast, or LSC for short.

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The decision to place the LSC’s “community leadership program” under the aegis of the regional chamber of commerce was taken at a joint meeting in late June by a vote of the boards of the two groups.

The move came eight months after former LSC executive director Jennifer Downing left for a post of vice president of engagement for the nonprofit Buzzards Bay Coalition.

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“A discussion like this just takes time,” said Mike O’Sullivan, the co-CEO of One SouthCoast Chamber who runs the Fall River Chamber office on Pocasset Street.

O’Sullivan and SouthCoast Chamber co-CEO Rick Kidder both sit on LSC’s board, though O’Sullivan says both recused themselves to avoid any conflict of interest in the vote. of June.

Sullivan said the LSC board will now function as a chamber advisory board and sit on the chamber board.

As for the future LSC program director, he said the responsibilities will include day-to-day operations, curriculum development and recruiting.

The chamber of commerce, O’Sullivan said, is in a good position to help LSC with its marketing and advertising, as well as fundraising and sponsorship promotion, which he says will help the program thrive and grow. develop.

O’Sullivan declined to disclose the salary offered for the position of LSC Program Director. He says the post is advertised as a “private publication.”

“We have already received quite a few resumes and done a few interviews,” he said.

The SouthCoast Leadership program typically lasts 10 months from January to October with a graduation ceremony at the end of October.

But due to the disruption resulting from Downing’s departure and the time it took for LSC to become affiliated with the One SouthCoast Chamber, O’Sullivan said there was a strong possibility that the next round of sessions would not resume. before January 2022.

O’Sullivan said the fee for the full LSC 2020 monthly session schedule was $ 3,200 per person. But he says that will drop to $ 2,750 per person when the next session begins.

O’Sullivan said that before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Downing was the only full-time staff member at LSC. Now he has said that a part-time employee will eventually provide basic assistance to the new program director.

“Technically there will be an employee and a half (LSC),” he said.

LSC, which was founded in 2004 by local business and civic leaders, emphasizes the benefits of economic development; education; Arts and culture; criminal justice; municipal government; marketing; and teamwork.

“It strengthens teamwork. I think this is the first time I’ve worked with other people on a project like this since college or high school, ”said Peter Daley, public relations director of People Incorporated – a goal-oriented organization. nonprofit with two sites in Fall River and a third in Taunton. which provides services to people of all ages with intellectual and cognitive disabilities.

Daley, a 2020 LSC graduate, said his subgroup worked with the non-profit United Neighbors of Fall River to provide assistance to their Home Project – an initiative that provides housewares, furniture and small appliances for families coming out of homelessness.

“Wendy needed some PR help,” Daley said, referring to group executive director Wendy Garf-Lipp.

Daley said he and his group helped Garf-Lipp solicit donations from individuals and businesses as well as corporate employees.

“There was a huge turnout,” he said.

The Home Project now has its own store in a space donated by Merrow Manufacturing owner Charlie Merrow.

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Daley, 38, said his employer, People Incorporated, paid the fees for his 10-month program for 2020, which was cut short by the pandemic.

Normally, he said, the subgroups would meet each month at a different and historically significant location depending on that month’s theme. But after COVID-19 entered the scene, all in-person gatherings were scuttled in favor of Zoom meetings.

“It was a most unique leadership class for sure,” said Daley.

And he said the turn of events linking Leadership SouthCoast was part of the local chamber of commerce.

“I am happy to see that this can continue under the auspices of One SouthCoast Chamber,” he said.

Charles Winokoor can be contacted at [email protected] Support local journalism and subscribe to The Herald News today.

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